Must-Read: Felix Salmon: Star Trek’s Utopia Is Already Here

Must-Read: It is just very unevenly distributed, and is here only in part:

Felix Salmon: Star Trek’s Utopia is already here: “The Replicator obviates the need for humans to work…

…and satisfies all the basic needs of 24th century consumers. It is Star Trek’s way of telling us that in the future, human labor can be entirely replaced by machines. Can be, but won’t be. Because humans have a need to work at something, and if they’re not working for money, they’ll work for something else. In the Federation, that something else is reputation…. There are billions of largely-unseen Federation citizens who aren’t all competing, aggressively, for highly prestigious jobs working as starship captains. Still, Star Trek is not Wall-E: if you give us everything we could ever want, we don’t devolve into a race of overweight couch potatoes…


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